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GM Settlement Averts Strike Threat

October 12, 1992

ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) _ Workers at General Motors Corp.’s Inland Fisher Guide plant are expressing relief that a possible strike has been averted.

The plant in Anderson, 35 miles northeast of Indianapolis, is crucial to GM production because it supplies exterior lights to most GM cars. It also supplies most models with bumpers.

The United Auto Workers Local 663 had threatened a walkout starting Wednesday if GM didn’t meet its demands. But the two sides reached an agreement Friday night.

″I don’t know any of the details of it yet, but I’m just glad to see it,″ Mike Kippen, a 46-year-old forklift operator, said Saturday.

The dispute revolved around GM’s desire to send parts manufacturing to outside suppliers, known as ″outsourcing.″

UAW Shop Chairman Max Baer said about 250 jobs at the plant had been lost recently through outsourcing or would soon have been lost, but under the pact they’ll be retained.

″I’m glad we’re not going to have to strike,″ assembler Jean Smitherman said. ″Needless to say, I don’t think anybody in their right mind is going to say they can afford it.″

The UAW has struck GM twice since Aug. 27, both times over issues concerning worker cutbacks. Outsourcing was a key issue in the nine-day strike by the UAW at Lordstown, Ohio, which forced nine assembly plants to shut down. A four-day walkout at a body-making plant in Lansing, Mich., halted production of the Pontiac Grand Am, GM’s second best-selling car.

Specific details of the settlement weren’t immediately released, but GM said it agreed to accelerate implementation of various local demand settlements.

The accord does not need ratification by union membership, Baer and GM division spokeswoman Patricia Molloy said.

GM lost $4.45 billion last year and has announced a massive restructuring program in which it plans to close 21 plants and eliminate 60,000 hourly jobs by 1995.

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